Top MENA-based political pundits of 2021

Salman Al-Ansari

Salman Al-Ansari
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Updated 02 December 2021

Salman Al-Ansari

Salman Al-Ansari

Current occupation: Founder and president of Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee

Former employers: Thomson Reuters, SABB, Samba Financial Group, EDEX

Education: BA in international communications from the Saint Louis University in the US, BA in international/global studies from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain

Nationality: Saudi Arabian

Known for his electrifying speech at an Iranian opposition conference in Paris a few years ago, Salman Al-Ansari generated headlines earlier this year by being indirectly involved in the resignation of the Lebanese foreign minister.

In an exchange with Al-Ansari on Al-Hurra, Minister of Foreign Affairs Charbel Wehbe defended Hezbollah and suggested that Gulf states were to blame for the rise of Daesh, causing a rift between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Wehbe walked off on the grounds that Al-Ansari “offended” Lebanon’s president by not referring to him as “His Excellency.”

On Monday, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun referred to Wehbe’s exchange with Al-Ansari, saying that: “When a Saudi journalist offended me on live TV, no action was taken against him.”

Al-Ansari responded on his Twitter account saying: “It seems that the Lebanese President Michel Aoun is referring to me with this statement. So I will say the following:

If the missiles of your ally, Satan’s army, against the Kingdom do warrant any action on your part, and the statements of your ministers against the Kingdom do not warrant any action, then I say that you and your spoiled son-in-law (Gebran Bassil) are not the merry couple but the unhappy couple."

Shortly afterward, the Saudi businessman and writer Abdul Rahman bin Musa'id Al-Saud tweeted that: “A journalist is not a government official, his opinion represents himself and not the government. … Those who offended Saudi Arabia were Lebanese ministers (Charbel, Kordahi — who repeated the offence while he justified it in his role as a minister).

As for the Lebanese journalists’ insults against Saudi Arabia, ask Al-Mayadeen, Al-Manar, and Al-Akhbar newspapers!”

Salman Al-Ansari is a Saudi writer and political commentator. He is the founder and president of Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee, a public relations organization based in Washington, D.C. which aims to further strengthen the historic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US. 

As a successful businessman, Al-Ansari has founded various firms, namely Margin Scope based in Washington, and Albayzin Luxury Resorts. 

Al-Ansari is specialized in strategic and political communication and is a frequent guest at Al Arabiya and other international media platforms, such as CNN and CNN Arabic. 

Fluent in Arabic, English and Spanish, Al-Ansari has been quoted numerous times in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the New York Times and is regarded by the Saudi observatory organization Elmam as one of the most influential media personalities in Saudi Arabia.